1975 (age 42)
Marta started singing at age eight in her native Prague, Czech Republic with the Mládí choir. Upon moving to the US in 1987, she continued her vocal and music studies with The Seattle Girls' Choir. At an early age, she sang in many different languages including Latin, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Finnish and Czech, as well as a wide range of works by Johannes Brahms, Joseph Haydn, Francis Poulenc and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi to name a few.
She toured Germany and Finland participating in choral festivals in 1985, 1986 and 1990. Her first two recordings were a collection of songs inspired by children's poetry from the Terezín concentration camp, and A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, both with The Seattle Girls' Choir.
But Marta's first encounter with Latin American music goes back to when she was six years old, she remembers her favorite album being Inti-Illimani's songs from the Andes. Her parents, both actors, had gotten the record from a Chilean friend that had come to live in Czechoslovakia in the 1970's.
So around age fifteen, when she started developing as a soloist, exploring her own style and direction as a singer, she was again completely drawn to music from Spain, Cuba and South America. She was particularily inspired by Camarón de la Isla, Paco de Lucía, Mercedes Sosa, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Joao Gilberto, A.C. Jobim, Vinicius Da Moraes, Ornella Vanoni, Guillermo Portabales, Eliades Ochoa, Benny More, Los Compadres and Simon Diaz.
Continuing in her musical calling, she first majored in music and dance at Bard College from 1992 to 1993. Afterwards, she moved to Moron de la Frontera, Spain, to study privately and further develop as a musician. She took up playing the guitar, hand percussion and now most recently, her favorite accompanying instrument, the four-string cuatro.
Her love and dedication to Latin American music as well as the folklore of Czechoslovakia, makes her a unique artist who sings in and is fluent in both Czech and Spanish.
After spending two years in Spain and the Czech Republic, she settled in New York City in 1996 and since then has been actively composing, arranging and performing her original songs as well as collaborating with other groups including Lucia Pulido and Fiesta De Tambores, Los Acustilocos, Flamenco Latino among others.
Marta has performed in many venues in New York City including Joe's Pub, The Blue Note, SOB's, The United Nations and across the United States in venues such as Scullers in Boston, The Philadelphia Museum Of Art, Jazz Alley in Seattle and The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. She's participated in festivals such as The World Music Festival in Chicago, Tanglewood Jazz Festival and internationally at The Brighton Festival, London Jazz Festival, Vienna Jazz Festival, The New Morning in Paris, Bayerisher Hof in Munich, Bim Huis in Amsterdam, Birdland in Vienna, La Linea at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, Notorious Jazz Club in Buenos Aires and Teatro Galileo in Cordoba, Argentina, Centro Cultural De La Villa in Madrid and many other venues in Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic. She has also been featured on many television and radio programs in the US including BBC's "The World" and NPR's "Around Noon", in Spain (TV/Radio 3), Colombia (Radio W), Mexico (Fiestas Patrias), Argentina (Radio Palermo), France (ARTE TV) and the Czech Republic (Radio Proglas, Nova & Prima TV).
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